Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  June 5, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PDT

8:00 am
06/05/12 06/05/12 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" >> scott has done a great job in traveling around this country, raising millions and millions of dollars. those people have an agenda and it is not a wisconsin agenda. >> more than $1 billion worth of savings for the the taxpayers. we've seen a budget surplus of $154 million. a >> recall that in wisconsin. in the most expensive political race in the state's history,
8:01 am
voters decide whether republican gov. scott walker will finish his first term. we will go to milwaukee to host a debate about walker, the democratic challenger milwaukee mayor tom barrett, and what the vote means for the nation. first, three strikes in three days. the president obama is drawn more and pakistan escalates, scrutiny.e comes under strai >> it really seems to have changed. there were a number of incidences -- last year was a bad year for u.s. drone strikes in pakistan. >> will speak with chris woods of the bureau of investigative journalism. the lake jan karski in his own words, the polish diplomat came to the u.s. to warn president roosevelt about the horrors of the nazi holocaust read last week, he was awarded posthumously the presidential medal of freedom. >> what is happening to the
8:02 am
jews is unprecedented. they do not realize, all of the jews will be murdered in this world. the decided to murder the jews, regardless of the outcome of the world. >> all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. wisconsin voters head to the polls today for a historic recall election targeting republican governor scott walker. the recall effort was launched last year after walker stripped public sector unions of their collective bargaining rights and reduce their benefits. the race between walker and his democratic opponent, milwaukee mayor tom barrett, is expected to be close but nearly every poll gives walker the edge. we'll have more from wisconsin later in the broadcast. u.s. and pakistan officials say
8:03 am
a drone strike that killed at least a dozen people in pakistan on monday targeted al-libi, who's believed to be al qaeda's second-in-command. it is unclear if al-libi was killed or if any civilians were among the dead. the strike followed a series of u.s. attacks inside pakistan over the past two weeks. we will have to more -- we will have more after headlines. syrian president bashar al-assad ignored friday deadline to halt attacks. on monday, the free syrian army said it resumed attacks on syrian troops stationed at checkpoints in major cities. syrian activists claim at least 80 syrian soldiers have been killed in rebel operation since friday. at the u.n., a spokesperson for international envoy kofi annan said syria might already be experiencing all-out civil war. >> the special envoy kofi annan and many others have warned of
8:04 am
the dangers of syria descending into a bloody sectarian civil war. we may be there already. we hope for the syrian people, for the sake of the syrian people, we hope we are not there yet, but this is certainly a very unfortunate and bloody scenario that we are witnessing. >> yemeni troops reportedly preparing for a major operation to retake the town held by al qaeda metals. it is part of an offensive to wrest control. as the european debt crisis continues, germany signals it is prepared to accept a deal that would give aid to indebted countries in exchange for more centralized control over government spending in europe. the plan would likely involve pooling much of europe's bad debt and hang it off over the next roughly 25 years.
8:05 am
in exchange for financial support, germany has called for individual state seal sovereignty to fiscal authority, a plan that could meet with resistance and other european countries. the finance chiefs of the group of seven industrialized countries are holding an emergency session on the eurozone debt crisis. press secretary jay carney said europe will face continued pressured to take drastic steps. >> they have the capacity to resolve this. they have already taken significant actions, the serious risks remain and there's no question markets remain skeptical that measures taken thus far are sufficient to secure the recovery in europe and remove the risk the crisis will deepen. we believe more steps need to be taken. >> tens of thousands of people flooded a public park in hong kong monday to mark the 23rd anniversary of the crackdown in beijing tianeman square with
8:06 am
chinese forces crushed student protesters. on june 3, june 4, 1989, the chinese military killed and none known number of civilians in beijing and other cities after weeks of non-violent protests. the chinese government has criticized u.s. plans to shift the bulk of its naval fleet to the pacific by 2020. defense secretary leon panetta announced this weekend a majority of u.s. ships and submarines will operate out of east asia by the end of the decade. in beijing, chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said u.s. militarization would mark a step backward. >> the approach of artificially stressed military security and handsome military deployments in strengthening military alliances is out of keeping with the times. the asia-pacific is the region where most overlaps and we welcome the u.s. to play a constructive role in the region. we hope the u.s. will respect the interests and concerns of all sides in the asia-pacific, including china.
8:07 am
>> a defense lawyer for accused whistleblower bradley manning has submitted a motion calling for the u.s. government to release hundreds of thousands of documents relating to manning's alleged leak of massive trove of official materials to the whistleblowing website wikileaks. the government reportedly is in possession of 250,000 pages of documents relating to the case, but as refused to turn them over to manning's attorney. bradley manning is charged with 22 counts related to the massive leak. his trial is scheduled for september. bp has sparked concerns over academic freedom after obtaining thousands of confidential emails from scientists who study the 2012 will disaster in the gulf of mexico. the scientists estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil gushed into the gulf after the deepwater horizon explosion. the scientists were recently forced to hand over more than 3000 confidential emails after
8:08 am
bp obtained a subpoena. in an opinion piece, the scientists condemned the lack of legal protection for scientific emails and said they're concerned not just about invasion of privacy, but about "the erosion of the scientific deliver to process." they say the emails mentioned dead ends and weaknesses confronted in the course of research, and said incomplete thoughts could be intentionally taken out of context. in related news, federal authorities are investigating whether bp representatives lied to congress about the amount of oil leaking as a result of the disaster. a milwaukee resident has been charged with first-degree murder after fatally shooting an unarmed 13-year-old african- american boy who lived next door. the victim, darius simmons, was reportedly retrieving a garbage car outside his family home when the shooter, john henry spooner, approached him. simmons mother said spooner accused him of stealing property before opening fire.
8:09 am
simmons tried to run away, the suffered a fatal gunshot wound to his chest and transgender african-american woman in minneapolis was sentenced to 41 months in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter to avoid a murder charge for the fatal stabbing of a man who harassed her with rachel and homophobic slurs -- with racial and homophobic slurs supporters say chrishaun cece mcdonald was a victim. while the events of that night remain unclear, the fight that ensued left 47-year-old dean schmitz dead after police was stabbed by a pair of fabric scissors that had been in mcdonald's purse. mcdonald supporters said the case is symptomatic of the bias against trenchant people and african-americans in the criminal-justice system. dozens of mcdonald's supporters packed for sentencing in a show of support. state officials plan to hold mcdonald in a prison for men, despite her trance gender identity.
8:10 am
the supreme court has rejected the supreme court from colorado resident who was arrested for approaching then vice-president dick cheney and criticizing the iraq war in 2006. steven howards had accused the secret service of violating his civil rights when they detained him for assault and harassment. howards had confronted cheney in a shopping mall and told him the bush a ministrations occupation of iraq was "disgusting." in a unanimous decision on monday, the supreme court ruled the secret service cannot be sued because it enjoys qualified immunity. voters in northern california head to the polls today in a primary vote to determine the successor to retiring democratic congressmember when -- congressmember lynn woolsey. the candidates include the progressive activist and author norman solomon, founder of the media watchdog fairness and accuracy in reporting as well as the public affairs group, institute for public accuracy. the top two vote getters in the 12-candidate race will square off in november for the chance
8:11 am
to claim the seat. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we begin today's show with the late polish resistance fighter robert kraig in his own words. last week, the white house apologized to poland over language used by president obama in honoring karski. obama referred to a polish death camp when awarding the presidential medal of freedom without noting poland was occupied by nazi germany. former polish foreign minister adam daniel rotfeld accepted the award in chris skype's name. white house press secretary jay carney later said obama misspoke. during world war ii, jan karski helped alert the world to the nazi holocaust. he visited the warsaw ghetto as well as a concentration camp and travel to the united states. he gave eyewitness testimony of the holocaust to president roosevelt and supreme court justice felix frankfurter. karski died in 2000. we go to an interview with jan karski that was conducted by andrew leslie phillips. it was recorded in jan karski's
8:12 am
home in washington, d.c. in 1986. here he describes what is on the warsaw ghetto. >> the house i entered into one of those ghettos. the outside front of the house faced a regular street. only the back of the house through the basement, you entered one of those that rose. heard about is. oh, my god. children, women, old men, everyone having something to celebrate and onion, a piece of
8:13 am
bread, a piece of close, begging. "please, please, i am hungry." [unintelligible] i said to my guide, is he dead? he said, no, he is dying. he is not dead yet. in the streets, naked bodies dead. i whispered to him, what is this? he said, when a jew dies, the jews have to pay taxes to have been buried it. but they have no money for taxes, so they put the men, women, and child in the street. work theit doesn't
8:14 am
people who pass, if he has shoes, if his in the close, they take it out. a dead man does not need any clothes. so i saw completely naked, some skeletons laying in the street -- stents -- horrible -- and humane. and he just guides me, "follow me, follow me." from time to time, i remembered he was whispering, "remember, remember, remember." >> jan karski, polish resistance fighter also discussed the specific jewish demands he was to make of the allied leaders. >> what is happening to the jews is unprecedented. it is unique. they do not realize, the leaders know it, all of the jews would be murdered all of the jews will
8:15 am
be murdered regardless of the outcome of the war. extermination of the jews is not prompted by the war strategy. it is a separate problem. purely ideological problem. hitler once to liquidate all the jews in europe. as a result of it, the allied leaders must treat the jewish problem as a separate problem as well, because otherwise, they will win the war. but there will be no jews. and the jews cannot accept it as a necessity. they must use unprecedented ways. what are they? first, let them flood germany with millions of leaflets and
8:16 am
describe concentration camps, nazi officials, spelling names, spelling statistics, spelling the methods, so that the german population will learn. perhaps they don't know what is happening. and what is equally important is that they will be unable to say in the future that they were not informed. they can do it. they are dropping bombs on germany every night. they can drop millions of leaflets. next, the allied governments must publicly appeal to the german people to impress upon their own government that they must change the policy toward the jews. they must show the allies evidence that they did exercise such a pressure.
8:17 am
if they were unsuccessful or if there is no evidence that such a pressure was exercised, the allied government must make a public declaration -- german nation will be responsible for the crimes against the jews. perhaps this will help. >> polish emissary and resistance fighter jan karski, later revealed to leaders in the allied countries, including u.s., what he witnessed in the warsaw ghetto and concentration camp. here he talks about his meetings with u.s. supreme court justice felix frankfurter and president roosevelt. >> when i arrived, there was no certainty i would be received. of a certain point i was told
8:18 am
[unintelligible] felixn's name is justice frankfurter. we are personal friends. he is justice of the supreme court. he is extremely important. he is a personal friend of the president. everybody knows it. and he is a jew himself. to him, you can be sure you tell him everything. now frankfurter, do you know who i am? i said, yes sir, your name is felix frankfurter. uri justice of the supreme court. correct. do you know that i am a jew? yes, sir, the ambassador told
8:19 am
me. i was excited. i knew this was a powerful man. everything, get a, jewish demands, you know, what i saw and then i came to the end. silence. then frankfurter gets up and starts to walk the room without a word. so when he went to the left [unintelligible] so i keep quiet. it took him three minutes, four
8:20 am
minutes then frankfurter sits down and looking straight in my face says, "i remember every word, every gesture of this conversation after 40 years. mr. karski, a man like me talking to a man like you must be totally frank so i say i am unable to believe you." the ambassador breaks in and says, felix, you don't mean it. you cannot tell him to stay said he is a liar. felix, it is his fourth mission. he was checked and rechecked 10
8:21 am
times. felix, you don't mean it. "mr. ambassador, i did not say that this young man is lying. i said that i am unable to believe him. there is a difference." ♪ >> appellate, the interview with justice felix frankfurter had some affect on president roosevelt because it was not long before the polish ambassador came to cars, but good news. -- came to karski with good news. >> the president wants to see you in the white house. my suspicion is that frankfurter told the president.
8:22 am
he suggested to the president -- let him see this young man. he has an importance story. and so i was invited to the president. in 1943, roosevelt was considered by hundreds of millions of people as the savior, as a master of the world. great leader, etc. so i was appalled and i had all the time this feeling facing master of humanity -- imperial. he projected tremendous power. i remember he smoked cigarettes and a long cigarette holder, you
8:23 am
know, and his gestures. he started the conversation that he knows about me and he would like me to tell him what i think he should know. and then i come to the jewish problem. to the jewish demands. he asked me some questions. not very important. and then he started to ask questions concerning the underground movement. he did not say anything of significance concerning the jews, but you listen to everything. and then his secretary broke in twice, "mr. president, people are waiting. this lasts too long."
8:24 am
"all right, all right." it gives a sign that the interview is finished, and then i got inspired. i get up and i said, "mr. president, i go back to poland. every pole will know i saw president roosevelt. president roosevelt is a last hope of europe. everybody will ask me what the president's told you, what will happen to us." i remember again every gesture. "he will tell your leaders that we shall win this war. the guilty ones will be punished for their crimes.
8:25 am
justice, freedom shall prevail. you will tell your nation that they have a friend in this house. that is a jan karski, the unheeded message of the holocaust, the name of the documentary produced by andrew leslie phillips. he spoke to jan karski at his home in 1986 in washington, d.c., describing his war time visit to the united states. to warn president roosevelt and supreme court justice felix frankfurter what was happening in the holocaust. jan karski was awarded the presidential medal of freedom last week by president obama. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, we will talk
8:26 am
about drones. stay with us. stay with us. ♪ [music break] ♪ [music break]
8:27 am
>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. at least 27 people a been killed in three consecutive days of u.s. drone strikes inside pakistan. more than half of the victims, 15 people, were killed monday when u.s. missiles hit a village in north waziristan. the attacks bring to least seven the number of u.s. drone strikes
8:28 am
in pakistan over the past two weeks. u.s. and pakistani officials say militants were targeted, but it is unclear if any civilians were killed. monday's strike targeted al qaeda second-in-command, al- libi, but officials have been unable to confirm whether he was among those hit. pakistani officials condemned the attacks with a foreign ministry saying describing the drone strikes as "illegal attacks" on pakistani sovereignty. the surge in drone strikes comes just days after the new york times reveals that president obama personally oversees a secret kill list containing the names and photos of individuals targeted for assassination in the u.s. drone war. abc must take tapper and white house spokesperson jay carney had an exchange about the so- called kill list following the publication of the new york times exposé >> we have a unique situation in wisconsin or the event, the election's results of a recall petition, but the
8:29 am
president absolutely stands by tom barrett and hopes he prevails. >> white house spokesperson jay carney responding to questions from "per. to find out more about the implications of the increase in drone attacks, we go to london to talk to chris woods, award winning reporter with the bureau of investigative journalism in london. he leads the bureau's drones investigation team. welcome to "democracy now!" can you tell us what you understand is happening in pakistan? >> the last two weeks have seen a really significant rise in the number of u.s. drone strikes taking place. i think eight since may 24. that compares to 16 strikes in the entire time from january through may. it gives you an idea of how rapidly the drone strikes are
8:30 am
escalating inside pakistan. most of the strikes appear to be targeting not al qaeda, but groups allied to the afghan taliban fighting the insurgency across the border. a number of those strikes have targeted infrastructure that is, shall we say, unusual. we saw in moscow hit a couple of days ago. on sunday, a funeral transport, a victim of a previous drone strike, were attacked by u.s. drones. there have been two reports of possible strikes on rescuers attending the scene of previous cia attacks. that is something we are still trying to confirm. but it indicates not just a significant rise in the number of strikes in pakistan, but in aggression for the strikes that we really have not seen for over a year. >> i want to go back to the
8:31 am
correct clip of abc's "are questioning white house spokesperson jay carney, jay carney responding to his questions after the new york times revealed the so-called kill list. >> i don't have the assistance of civilian casualties, but certainly not saying we live in a world where the effort in a fight against al qaeda, against people without compunction with murder tens of thousands of not millions of innocence -- >> [unintelligible] how many have the united states killed? it is the assumption that if you are with a terrorist when a terrorist gets killed, the presumption is your a terrorist as well. even if we do not know who you are, isn't that part of -- >> i am not getting into the specifics of the process by which these decisions are made.
8:32 am
>> chris woods, your response? >> i think jake raised an important point at that briefing "new york times" has made it clear that the lessons to be following a policy where all adult males in waziristan would appear to be fair game. it indicated that true to the article and other means that so- called tourists being killed in the signature strikes can posthumously be reclassified as civilians. we're not even seeing evidence of that. almost a year ago, the bureau presented the names of 45 civilians we were sure they had killed in pakistan the previous year. to my knowledge, they have never acted on that information and continue to assert all the people that killed wilwere civilians. in the new york times piece last week, u.s. officials are still climbing the number of civilians
8:33 am
who died during president obama as time in office is in the single digits, is under 10. it is our understanding perhaps 200 civilians have died in pakistan, including at least 60 children. so the gulf between the media's understanding and what the cia and one house continue to claim is actually growing bigger, not smaller. >> can you talk about the difference in reaction in britain and the united states? i mean, was this big headline, what has come out in the u.s., it is not really know very much among the general population, but it was a big story in "new york times" about the kill list. >> the kill list got heavy coverage here. what is interesting, it is not a classic left/right issue. everyone has expressed significant concern about the existence of the kill list, the
8:34 am
idea of this level of executive power. questions being asked here now because the u.k. as a partner with the u.s. in the drone program, the u.k. drones pilots said alongside the u.s. pilots and navigators in nevada. i think some are asking, the u.k. has claimed very low numbers of civilians killed in its conventional drone strikes in afghanistan. i think that is something we will not stop looking at in the u.k., which has is creeping [unintelligible] i think that is something we will be taking a good look at the next few weeks. >> appearing on msnbc over the weekend, "democracy now!" correspondent, national secured a correspondent jeremy scahill, caused a stir when he said drone strikes the kill innocent civilians amount to murder. this is where jeremy explains
8:35 am
why. another guest, colonel jack jacobs, briefly interrupts him. >> if someone goes into a shopping mall and pursuit of one of their enemies and opens fire on a crowd of people and guns down a bunch of innocent people in a shopping mall, they have murdered those people. when the obama administration sets the policy work patterns of life are not of a green light to drop missiles on people or to use or send in to spread them down -- crooks but that was not the case here. if you go to the village in yemen where i was and you see the unexploded cluster bombs and you have the list and photographic evidence as i do of the women and children that represent the vast majority of the deaths in the first truck obama authorized on yemen, those people were murdered by president obama on his orders because they were believed to be someone from al qaeda in that area. only one person has been identified that had any
8:36 am
connection to al qaeda. 21 women and 14 children were killed. the u.s. tried to cover it up and say it was a yemeni bombing. it is murder, mass murder when you say we're going to bomb this area because we believed a terrorist is there any no women and children are in the area. the u.s. has an obligation to not on that area if they believe women and children are in that area. i am sorry, that is murder. >> that was jeremy scahill on msnbc. chris woods, your response? would you call it murder? >> i think jeremy's strong words indicate rising concern, particularly about the signature strikes being carried out by the pentagon and cia in somalia, yemen, and pakistan. it is not just jeremy speaking out. we had the former director of the cia, the former head of the
8:37 am
counter-terrorism center at the cia when the drone strikes began, and dennis blair, the former director of national intelligence for the u.s. -- all three of these very central characters have all made strong noises the last few weeks saying there were concerned about the policy, worried it was getting out of control, worried it is not achieving what it is supposed to be doing. and may actually be making matters worse. "washington post" just last week had a powerful article showing drone strikes in yemen are actually leading to an increase in support of al qaeda. unfortunately, everybody at the white house and cia seems to be singing from the same sheet. there is no point of criticism we are aware -- the concern is, this is pushing america into a position that will make its efforts to fight terrorism worse rather than better.
8:38 am
>> chris woods, can you talk more about the redefinition of civilians outlined in "the new york times calls >> peace, president obama increasing counting the civilian casualties, in effect, accounting all military aged males and a strike some as combatants? >> this revelation really is extraordinary. any adult male killed effectively in a defined telxon is a terrorist unless posthumously proven otherwise. we think this goes along with to explaining the gulf between our reporting of civilian casualties in pakistan and yemen and reporting of credible international news organizations, and the cia repeated claims it is not telling anyone or rather killing small numbers. there is still a big issue. in pakistan, we believe 175 children have been killed by the cia since 2004. we have named most of those
8:39 am
children. clearly, they fall completely outside the definition of an adult male and a combat zone. yet the cia is still saying a killed 50 or maybe 60 civilians across the entire period. many women have died. we're trying to report the names. this suggestion the definition of civilian has really been radically [unintelligible] i still do not think explaining why this cia is not classifying people who are clearly civilians as such. i think it has profound implications in terms of u.s. policy. if you keep assuring yourself you're not telling civilians, by redrafting of the term to attack civilian," than that is tough to influence the policy and encourage you to carry out more drone strikes. you might be getting tactical advantage, but strategically,
8:40 am
whether it is in a long-term interests of the u.s., when young people expressing anger and concern about u.s. policy, i think that is a critical point. >> chris woods, thank you for being with us, award winning reporter with the bureau of investigative journalism and london bridge he leads the bureau's drones investigative team. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break] ♪ [music break]
8:41 am
>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we go to wisconsin, where voters are heading to the polls today for a historic recall election targeting republican governor scott walker. the recall effort was launched last year after walker stripped public sector unions of their collective bargaining rights and reduce their benefits. the race between walker and his
8:42 am
democratic opponent, milwaukee mayor tom barrett, is expected to be close but nearly every poll gives walker the edge. many analysts view the race as a proxy fight for this year's presidential election. president obama's campaign twitter count on monday posted a note urging wisconsin voters to go to the polls and, "make sure friends and neighbors know what's at stake and help get out the vote." winehouse press secretary jay carney responded to questions about why obama has not campaign for barrett. >> it is a unique situation in wisconsin where you have the election as a result of a recall, a petition, but the president absolutely stands by tom barrett and hopes he prevails. >> last night, president clinton and obama were in new york at a major fund raiser. on friday, former president a
8:43 am
clinton did go to wisconsin to rally supporters for barrett and a high stakes election. he spoke at a rally in milwaukee. >> if you believe in an economy, shared prosperity when times are good and shared sacrifice when they're not, then you don't want to break the unions, you want them as -- at the negotiating table. show up and vote for tom barrett. [applause] if you believe in the state budget that has shared restraints, the shared opportunity, that preserves george future, investment in education and jobs and you want someone who is actually created jobs your cooperation, the only way that works, show up and vote for tom barrett. >> that was former president bill clinton. and, governor scott walker has
8:44 am
had several prominent republican backers come to his aid. high profile endorsements include new jersey gov. chris christie and south carolina gov. nikki haley. on sunday, the republican national committee chairman sought to contrast walker with president obama. >> walker is talking about the fact his reforms are working and people of getting back to work, that businesses are coming in, property taxes have gone down. you cannot keep operating a government that spends more money than it takes in. scott walker is one of these special people that have made promises unkept promises. >> that was the rnc committee chair. wisconsin voters also be casting ballots for lt. gov. and four state senate seats. with so much state, it's turning out to the most expensive in the state's history with more than $63 million spent. walker raised more than 65% of his $30.5 million war chest from out-of-state donors. for more we're going to talk
8:45 am
about the election, a national referendum on the future public- sector unions and we go to milwaukee for a debate. richard esenberg is president and general counsel of the wisconsin institute for law and liberty. he supports governor walker. we're joined by robert kraig, executive director of citizens action wisconsin. richard esenberg, welcome to "democracy now!" we will start with you. robert kraig as well. richard esenberg, talk about prospects for governor walker and why you think he should remain in his job as governor. >> what frustrates us a much about our politicians is they are afraid to make tough decisions. governor walker was elected in 2010 in the state faced billions of dollars in budget shortfall. they cannot deficit spend.
8:46 am
walker made the decision he wanted to close the gap on a cash basis, but not raise taxes in the state that already has high taxes and below average national income. rather than simply cut services, although there was service reduction, he did that i tried to bend the cost curve of government not only by reducing the benefits of public employees, but by restricting collective bargaining in a way which gave local units of government and state government and opportunity to reduce costs without drastic service reductions. the reason he is winning in every poll is it worked. >> robert kraig, what about that? >> well, i think was fundamentally about power. you did not have to remove the rights of workers in order to deal with the deficit. the deficit was not larger than previous deficits previous
8:47 am
governors. even when the union's offer to go with the givebacks as long as they could keep the right of the union, walker refused to even talk to them. i think about tried to change the power structure in wisconsin to key -- a key battleground state. by the way, he did not campaign on this at all. i know rick talked about him making tough choices. the reason that this uprising like the arab spring is because it was complete speak attack. we know it was a divide and conquer strategy. >> richard esenberg, what about the issue of money in this campaign? talk about this unprecedented daily to of money coming into the state -- deluge of money coming into the state. give us the figures, what their
8:48 am
race and how much is being spent by they themselves and the super pacs. >> i don't have the figures at the tip of my fingers. my guess is governor walker has raised more money -- of both sides have raised a substantial amount of money from out of state. my take is a little different from others. it seems both the left and right, the money is coming from out of state by people who sincerely believe there is a great deal at stake here. people on my side of the political aisle believe what governor walker did is in the public interest, and our people across the country who are interested in insuring governors and other states who feel they have the room to make this kind of bold reform, so they're willing to spend money. people on the other side of the aisle felt differently. they're also willing to invest in what they think the right thing is. i do not get upset about the fact we spend money and politics. we spend far more money in this
8:49 am
country selling beer and soap and we do engaging -- >> let me put that question to robert kraig, how much money has been raised and from where? >> in the general election, it is about 8 to 1 in favor of walker in terms of the candidates. it is little hard to tell on the independent side because the conservative groups are not reporting. it is an incredible blitzkrieg. first money is on the side of progressives because it is a rights issue. people thinking it's are crucial, having a strong middle- class. quite frankly, it is people vs. money and power. the amount of money on walker's side is much more, an absolute carpet bombing. >> how much is it? >> as you said, walker has taken in over $30 million, which blows
8:50 am
away all records. barrett has taken and a little over $4 million. it is an amazing blitzkrieg. i think it is the building -- the beginning where the right is going to have in this money to try to win these elections. we will find out in the turnout today whether people power can overcome that. yet a charismatic right-wing politician and walker who is hard to beat, and unbelievable financial resources behind him. >> robert kraig, what about the role of the democratic party in this? where was president obama -- well, we know he was at a major fund raiser in new york with former president clinton, but he did not come to wisconsin to campaign for tom barrett. the question of the democratic national committee, giving money, all these questions being raised, why they have not given more to support the milwaukee mayor running for governor? >> the democrats in the state
8:51 am
have been wonderful ever since the uprising began. there's been an issue with the people at the top of the party and either do not understand how crucial this fight is for the future of the middle class in this country, or simply trying to position themselves, worried how it will turn out to the general election. i think that is the wrong call to make. i do not think there is an economic alternative. i think it is problematic. the only silver lining is this is a people movement. that is the new kind of social movement we need on the left. the occupy movement in part was sparked by what happened on the streets of madison. it is disappointing the leaders do not seem to understand what is at stake were willing to take a stand. >> in january 2011, gov. scott walker was recorded on videotape
8:52 am
telling billionaire businesswoman diane hendricks, a top donor of his, about his plan to divide and conquer the unions in wisconsin. the comment is featured in the documentary, "as those janesville." >> any chance we will be a right to >> scott walker was asked about his comments during the debate last thursday. this was his response. >> a year-and-a-half ago when i was talking about the fact someone needs to stand up and take on the powerful special interest in this state. i've seen it all across the state. before our reforms, a handful of special interests dictated both the state and local level, what was going to happen. we drew a line in the sand and said we're putting the power back into the hands of the
8:53 am
taxpayers. the mayor has said repeatedly throughout the primary he wants to restore collective bargaining. that means and doing $1 billion worth of savings, higher property taxes on working families and seniors and others -- that is documented. >> who are you trying to conquer? what do you mean? what's the special interests. >> that is to your tried to divide and conquer. >> no, willing to find someone who is willing to stand up for the hard-working taxpayers in this state. >> richard esenberg, continue that point. >> i think this idea about money and people power is sloganeering. yet people in the state, the average public employee makes a lot more money than the average worker and has the benefit package the average worker could not manage to dream of. maybe you believed it would inappropriate to raise taxes an
8:54 am
average working people, to preserve the status quo. the governor felt otherwise. he believes prosperity comes from growth and not micromanaging of the economy by the state. for people, for conservatives, this is important but not important because we believe the middle class is preserved by unions. it is not preserved by unions. over 90% of the private sector work force, middle-class people, are not unionized. i think if you unions are necessary in order to preserve the middle-class might have been true in 1930, it certainly is not true -- >> that may get the opinion of robert kraig. >> it is a historic fact the rise in inequality is paired with unions. the problem is the divide and
8:55 am
conquer strategy of walker is played out in the attacks on public employees. rather than saying the banks are the problem or the 1% -- we say it is the public employees. the fact is, if you just for education level, they make slightly less than private sector employees. instead, we focus on their health care benefits which private sector employees have lost, rather than sank everyone should have a right to good, affordable health care and pension. the idea that teachers and janitors and snowplow drivers are the problem is just a divide and conquer strategy, and that is what we're having a referendum on. >> i want to ask about the john doe investigations. can you explain them to the national audience? >> we're still a pretty clean state and wisconsin. there been scandals where leaders were thrown out over using public money and public employees in order to campaign.
8:56 am
walker, as county executive, that was going on. there were two deputy chiefs of staff who were involved. 11 people at the granted immunity. there are rumors the governor might even be the target of the investigation. we will not know before the election. but i think the number of people being indicted the worked closely with him in the secret enol system has helped keep him around 50%. i think it is at a much more possible he could lose today with great turnout and a great kid out the vote operation. >> richard esenberg, respond to what robert kraig just said about these investigations. >> the lawyer and legal academic, i am disturbed when people try to take a legal proceeding and make it into a political football. notwithstanding everything robert has said, here wisconsin, we're not hearing thing about collective bargaining are public spending because it does not
8:57 am
resonate with the public. there is the time to take a john doe proceeding, with no evidence the governor has done anything wrong, but the democrats are running ads filled with speculation about things they cannot possibly know. as someone who studies, loves, and practices the law, i think is extremely irresponsible. >> robert kraig? >> we know if the situations were reversed, if governor walker was running against someone being investigated in a john doe investigation, he would use it. i don't think there's any difference in the ethics. it gets down to the whole credibility issue of governor walker. by the way, if you look at the fact checkers, he's the least triple governor of anywhere there is a politifact. with a divided state.
8:58 am
his the most popular among the republicans and least against the democrats. it is part of a national conservative strategy. what happens here will come to other states if governor walker survives today. >> the other races, the significance for state legislature and the tenant governor? >> the senate is in play. even if gov. walker is reelected, it is a one-seat pickup, then it would be a check on his power. they're all fairly close. that is also part of this whole dynamic. it did go either way. you could pick up a senate seat by the democrats and walker winning. >> we will certainly follow up on this tomorrow. it is a very big day in wisconsin. thank you, robert kraig and richard esenberg, for being here. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
8:59 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on